Exploration and production of oil and gas potentially exposes workers to some inherent health hazards associated with the use of chemicals, to physical and biological agents and poor ergonomic design of work places. Health hazards and the associated occupational illnesses can be easily overlooked in a regular HSE Management system since health hazards are not always apparent and may take many years for the effects to manifest in workers. Putting in place an effective risk assessment tool and an employee health management system will help employers to answer the very important question - when, where, how and to what hazard is an employee potentially exposed at work? An industrial hygiene risk assessment methodology was developed within TOTAL E&P branch. The method entails the systematic assessment of the potential risk of tasks resulting from the intrinsic hazard of chemical products and other hazardous agents (noise, radiations, extreme temperatures, biohazards, etc), estimating the duration and frequency of tasks and the occurence of adverse effect carried out by Similar Exposure Groups (SEGs) of workers. The method also estimates the protection means available in the workplace and hence calculates the residual risk to be managed by employers.
The results of the risk assessment exercise are consolidated in a Risk Assessment File document detailing monitoring data and action plans to mitigate high potential residual risks.
To facilitate this risk assessment process and enhance employee health data archiving and retrieval, a database management and risk assessment software was set up. The software includes Chemical/MSDS management, Human Resources information, Risk Assessment, Workplace and Personnel Monitoring.
The use of the software has greatly enhanced the access to employee exposure assessment records and overall management of occupational health of the Company's workforce.